Argentina & Brazil Experience (Start Rio)
Rio de Janeiro to Buzios
Welcome to Brazil! Full of vibrancy, cool people, some of the world’s most famous beaches & icons, we’ll head straight out so you can get a feel for it all. First up today we'll stop and visit the Christ the Redeemer statue located atop ‘Corcovado’ and recently designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Not only will you be amazed by the sheer size of the monument, but also by the incredible view of Rio stretching as far as the eye can see. After you strike some poses at the top, we’ll head back to ground level & visit Rio’s old Cathedral, one of the city’s most important historical buildings. Next up, the Lapa district and its 150 year-old aqueduct, the Arches of Lapa and Passeio Publico - the first public park in the city. With your sights of Rio ticked until you return later in the week, it’s time to relax & say 'bom dia' to the beach as we head to Buzios for our first 2 days on tour. Located on a peninsula, Buzios boasts more than 20 different beaches - from small coves with white sand, to endless stretches of gold, this is the perfect place for a little bit of R&R. Tonight, head out for a tasty local meal. Buzios is the perfect place to try some delicious seafood that is on offered all along Brazil’s coast. Don’t forget, it’s a place to dress to impress, so maybe glam up & get ready for a night on the town.
If you’re keen, you can rise early and catch a gorgeous sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. For those that prefer to sleep in, don’t worry, today’s another day to relax, chill and do what you want. Head down to the beach and try surfing, get a bit of a workout with an ocean swim or simply read a book while working on your tan with a cocktail in hand. Tonight, you could take a stroll through town and check out all of the shops, restaurants and bars here, before settling on one to spend your last night in town.
Buzios to Rio de Janeiro
Today, we say goodbye to the beach and hello to Rio! Home to the world’s largest Carnival celebration, the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the Brazilian bikini and of course some of the world’s best football (soccer) players, Rio goes off! You could take a trip to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain - climb 1299ft (396m) in glass-paneled cable cars to the summit for more astounding views of the city and its beaches. The trip is broken in two and if you take a break after the first car on Morro de Acucar you might meet some of the mountain’s naughtier residents, tiny monkeys who will be more than happy to steal your food. From evening football games, to bars, clubs and Favela parties, Rio’s nightlife will not disappoint. Just ask your Tour Manager for some cool places to head.
Rio de Janeiro
Over the next two days, Rio serves up endless good times. You can relax, explore your way or experience some of our ME Time Optionals like hang-gliding for epic views of the city from the skies – the choice is yours. On the afternoon of day 4 we have a unique experience on offer -to see the other side of Rio - an included Favela tour to get a deeper understanding of how many of the city’s inhabitants live. This tour will amaze & astound as you hear about these incredible cities within cities where over 1.1 million people reside. Ask your Tour Manager for some of the best places to head. There are markets and shops throughout the city or just relax on the beach and watch the Cariocas, (residents of Rio), do what they do best, play football and practice Capoeira a martial art mixed with dance from the northeast of the country. You could also learn some tricks yourself if you’re keen.
Rio de Janeiro to Iguassu Falls
Today we depart Rio to stay on the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls. Iguassu Falls border Argentina and Brazil, with awesome views from both sides, and you’ll experience them both! You could get things started with a different perspective of the falls on an optional helicopter flight, providing you with awesome panoramic views and photo ops. Although the parks on both sides are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there is often debate about who has the better side of the Falls. We’ll leave it up to you, but it’s widely believed that that the view from the Brazilian side is second to none. Take in all 275 individual waterfalls that make up the falls and get an up-close view of the Devil’s Throat (the largest of the 275 falls). Later, make an optional stop at a bird sanctuary on the way back to town, where you can get up close to some of the Amazon’s famous residents like the toucan, Hyacinth Macaw and other tropical species living in their natural habitat. This evening we’ll check into our hotel and enjoy the Brazillian national drink, a caipirinha. This is followed by a not to be missed experience if your up for it, a Latin Dance dinner and show!
Get ready for an awesome day at Iguassu. First up, we’ll cross into Argentina and visit their side of the Falls. You could feel the spray of the falls on a speed boat ride, or take a zodiac boat ride across to San Martin Island for a swim just down from the falls or a walk along the system or trails and catwalks that bring you up-close with some of the smaller waterfalls. If you feel like a wander, there’s a short hike to the edge of the Devil’s Throat. We have all day, so you can do it all if you want to. Later, we’ll say farewell Argentina and it’s back to Brazil for another night of wining, dining and dancing. For the carnivores amongst the group, Brazilian churrasquerias (steak restaurants) will make sure that you are not lacking for good beef on this side of the border.
Iguassu Falls to Buenos Aires
Jump on a flight from Puerto Iguazu and say 'hola' to Argentina and Buenos Aires! Argentina is known as the Country of Seven Continents, the diversity of landscapes here is super cool. You’ll find rainforest, plains and deltas, red sand desert, the southern Lakes District of Patagonia including Ushuaia the world’s most southern city. You’ll also find the Andes and Aconcagua (the western hemisphere’s highest peak), and let’s not forget Iguassu Falls. We’ll arrive in the capital city, Buenos Aires, known as South America’s most cosmopolitan city and paradise for the urbanite. As a refuge for many Europeans after the Second World War, its diversity is reflected in its people, an awesome melting pot of Spanish, Italian, German, Slavic and Syrian descent. Buenos Aires is perfect for unleashing the culture vulture within! It is the birthplace of Tango and there is a love of music, art, dance and of course football! The Argentines also love to dine and no visit to the capital would be complete without trying their world-renowned beef and of course, their delicious red wine.
Today, we’ll take a coach tour of the rest of the city, with an in-depth look at the history and modern-day Buenos Aires as you visit parks, pass by colonial mansions and learn about the historic figures that made the city and the country what it is today. During our tour we will visit the neighborhoods of Recoleta, Palermo Chico and Palermo Lagos y Bosques. We’ll visit the Historic Centre, San Telmo, the renowned neighborhoods like the colourful La Boca, including Maradona’s Statue at Boca Juniors stadium, Caminito and other neighborhoods and areas such as Puerto Madero with its trendy shops and cafes. You then have the rest of the day to explore this amazing city. If hanging in town is what you’re after, there are loads of options. Check with your Tour Manager what is going on in town, there might be a football (soccer) game on, maybe rub elbows with the city’s elite while drinking champagne at a polo match or try your luck at the racetrack. For those interested in hitting the shops there is fantastic shopping in the boutiques and galleries that line La Florida, one of two pedestrian streets in the city centre. You could also visit the historic Gran Café Tortoni where you can ask for a ‘café con leche’ (Spanish for coffee with milk.) To bring all of the best of the Portenos (people of Buenos Aires) together any visit to Buenos Aires wouldn’t be complete without a night of Tango, on us! We’ll take you to a Tango show and dinner where you’ll be able to get down and learn this intense dance for yourself. At dinner you’ll have the chance to taste some Argentine wine, food and of course experience an authentic tango show that originated in Buenos Aires. After the show, your Tour Manager can recommend one of the many bars, lounges or clubs for those looking to experience Buenos Aires’ pumping nightlife. Whatever you choose remember to save a little bit of energy for your final night together out on the town!
Depart Buenos Aires
Don’t forget to swap addresses with your mates and Tour Manager, as our South American adventure ends this morning after breakfast.